The Christmas Gift : with thanks and holiday greetings to everyone who has done me the honour of following this blog.

Overlooking the estuary Overlooking the estuary

The season of storms is upon us,
but a recent, magical day,
gave us the gift of
the estuary, stilled and low sunlight warmed,
the plumped, moss banked waters, becalmed.

I look up at our house
the farm nestling on the hill, where
your window is soft lit
and the fire burns within,
and I am so very fortunate to be
glad homed and hearthed,
protected, still.

Yet in Syria the snow is falling,
refugees flee, no journey’s end,
troubled children cry in the Philipinnes
desolation and ruin beckon in South Sudan,
here, our homeless shiver as sleet descends
no comfort at fireside,
no family, few friends.

On the estuary, the oyster catchers carol and trill,
as the sanderlings stuttered seaside run
the breeze unfettered, unzipped, undone,
whilst the cry of the gulls, mourns and chides
and the white lipped tide tumbles, salt water sprayed and spun,
open mouthed for the gathering chill.

And in the early hours,
by now, rain and wind maddened,
on my radio as I lie
enveloped in the duveted darkness
as the World is Served by the BBC
I learn that, in Yemen
young girls find themselves sold as child brides
no gifts to share,
precious little charity?

But I am loved, cosseted and cared for
neither cavalier nor complacent, this much I know
but grateful, sometimes almost guilty
that life, the world should spare me so.

And so, a few days before Christmas,
I turned for home,
such a very precious phrase.
And, if I had a wish for these
and future days,
and could share it with the mountain’s Saint,
Brynnach, lingering – perhaps – above.
I would ask this Christmas Gift,
for the world, love,
there must be love.

This was written 6 years ago now, but I think ( and hope) it still has resonance. Greetings and good fortune ahead.

Life on Mandela Way

So, finally perhaps,

Mandela, Mandiba, is free.

Man of perpetual dignity.

He who used love

as a political strategy.

Did not seek recrimination.

delighted in non discrimination.

A ladies man they cry,

a gleam, a twinkle, under African sky.

Fighter, boxer, lawyer.

Sometimes the state’s version of a terror,

and yet, this man left us replete, but, and I repeat,

not with horror,

for he was a healer, not a destroyer.

His photograph for years denied

to those he served, who cried

struggled, Soweto dirt dusted

still in invisible Mandela they trusted.


The day before this colossus departed

our political leaders here in the UK

enjoyed another Parliamentary day.

In the ‘mothership of democracy’

the bear pit beckoned;

and debate was the language of shouts and jeers,

and also, some might say, an urn of crocodile tears,

a style that leaves the voters cold,

disillusioned, depressed, down hearted.


So much said, yet not enough to say.

Perhaps it’s time, and more, to walk and talk,

practice, preach and ourselves outreach

in living life, the Mandela Way.


HAMBA KAHLE WETU (Go Well, friend)

No more troubles,

and for your vision,

please, not the end.